Reader-submitted: Is Lakewood water contaminated?

Hi, a Gut Moed, this might sound very strange but here it goes. We are a family that lives in Brooklyn and have relatives in Lakewood.

As soon as one of our close relatives moved to a new big house in Lakewood we started being invited for shabbosim and yomim tovim, we enjoyed to go immensely. However, almost without fail , some of us or all of us would wake up the day after coming (e.g.shabbos/Yom Tov morning ) with nausea, bad stomach cramps and would be sick all day.

We tried to figure out what it could be, the first few times we thought it was a coincidence etc.. we researched other environmental reasons and eventually it became clear that it must be the water. We had just pretty much given up on going to our and our hosts disappointment.

This past Yom Tov, they begged us to come, so we asked our hosts to cook and prepare all their food by using only spring water. Believe it or not, we made it through a 3 day Yom Tov just fine.

Two of us who ate out one seuda at friend in the neighborhood (without realizing or thinking that we had been trying only spring water) actually did get sick. This solidified our belief that this illness was something to do with the Lakewood water.

Anyway, my question is can you please put this out to the TLS readers and ask if anyone from out of town/Brooklyn had similar issues regarding getting sick in Lakewood?

Somehow once you stay or live in Lakewood I guess you can get used to the water, you become immune. Again, this is seemingly strange request, but after 3-4 years of trying to figure it out, I’d love to see if anyone experienced similar issues.
Thank you.

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  1. Tap water in Lakewood meets federal and state safety regulations.
    That said, the water in Lakewood might be harder than that from nyc, which by definition means more metalic content.
    A lot of people could be sensitive to a sudden change like that.

  2. Its so interesting. I live in Lakewood and whenever I go to my in laws in Brooklyn some of us get the same symptoms. I was recently discussing it with some family members who were experiencing the same problem and we figured it must be the water in Brooklyn.

  3. Every locality has different water which can create sensitivities to guests to that area BUT that doesn’t mean the water is contaminated or that there is even an issue. Take for example Israeli water. It’s known that Americans can be sensitive to water in Israel. However, after living there over 10 years, I can tell you that it’s only a matter of time to get accustomed to the water.

  4. Are they using well water? A lot of the big houses in the outskirts (especially in Jackson and Toms River) are in well. Also if it is a brand new houses it may be that the pipes aren’t clean because the water has not run through the pipes for a long enough time.

  5. Hi, I just read your article and wonder if that could be the case with me. My husband and I live in Monsey and first days of Sukkos we spent in Lakewood. 2nd day my husband got sick for a day. That night I became nauseous and the next day severe bloating and recurring stabbing pains and a day later had diarrhea. I still have stomach pain now that Im back home and have not been able to eat regular food without a repeat attack of stabbing pain. I once had a similar experience with water yrs ago, when I was in a place that had hard water. It’s very possible that being not used to lkwd water, my body is more susceptible to the contamination.

  6. My friend has the same problem when she eats by someone in Raintree (MUA water). Did same kind of test by only using spring water for everything and she was fine. Has no problem in our neighborhood (NJAWC).

  7. We live in Monsey and use only filtered water at home (reverse osmosis system – because most of Rockland water is ground water, full of pesticides, fertilizers and possible run off from Indian Point nuclear plant). Have stayed in Hearthstone many times, and haven’t had any stomach problems.

  8. I work with water all day do not fall for the usual sink filters. They don’t work. Unless it is utilizing reverse osmosys that strips all dissolved solids from the water it is useless.

  9. One more thing, cooking the tap water does “not” help so this is probably a substance “lead, copper or iron “ rather than a bacterial or parasite problem. As far as the person who wrote about the bugs in the water , all our water in Brooklyn is filtered , fridge and under sink filters.

  10. Do a Google search on Lakewood contamination, you’ll be quite surprised.
    Also search for Tom’s River contamination, it’s much worse.
    Let’s not talk about Linden, NJ

  11. I cooked with bottled water this yom tov… we have periods throughout the year that the water smells of chlorine and affects the taste of food. The bath smells as well.

  12. Yes. Lkwd water is bad. But You cant call it contaminated. You also cant call it Shabbosim. Its called Shabosos. Shabbosim is not a word. Refuah Shlaimah to u and urs.

  13. There is something called traveler’s diarrhea. When we live in a specific place our bodies get used to the bacteria in our water. If you visit a different place your body is not used to the bacteria in that cities water and will therefore feel sick.
    Solution is to stick to spring water when you are travelling!

  14. are you sure it is the water and not other drinks you are being served? I often feel stomach pains after a bottle of red wine, and bloated after 6 or more beers. naybe it has to do with the grapes from California or water used to brew beer in mexico or germany?

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